Cape Town fugitive sentenced to life after 15 years on the run

2017-06-01 18:03
High court. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

High court. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Cape Town – A Cape Town man who went on the run for 15 years, after breaking into a farm house and killing an old man in his sleep, was this week sentenced to life imprisonment.

Mzwandile Tukwayo, 52, disappeared after his accomplice was arrested in 2000 and was eventually discovered in Germiston last June, said Western Cape National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila.

In the early hours of September 24, 2000, he and Sipho Mlulo Mvumri drove from Langa to Sanice Farm in Klapmuts with the intention to commit crime.

When the men broke into a farm house, Carlo Hector von Litsenborgh and his wife Patricia Elizabeth were asleep.

The men threatened Patricia and she opened the two safes on the property. The accused removed a revolver, pieces of jewellery and a wallet, with a total value in excess of R200 000.

Ntabazalila said Tukwayo shot Von Litsenborgh while he was in his bed.  

Mvumri was arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment in 2001.

Tukwayo went into hiding and could not be found, despite authorities circulating his information.

"Fortunately for authorities the man, who has previous convictions dating back from 1984 where he was convicted for assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and driving a vehicle without the consent of the owner, went back to his ways of being in conflict with the law."

His case was transferred to the Paarl Magistrate's Court and then to the Western Cape High Court.

This week prosecutor Sabata Choane argued that there were no substantial and compelling circumstances to deviate from the prescribed minimum sentences.

The accused suffered from diabetes and heart problems, and had two children who were young women now.

"The accused is not here for shop lifting or stabbing someone while they were drinking at a shebeen. This is not an offence of the spur of the moment case done without thinking," said Choane.

"He shot the old man at point blank range in the head which caused brain injury and bleeding in the brain. Was it necessary for him to kill him in this manner?"

There was no remorse for killing the deceased, who was a farmer and employer.

The high court agreed, sentencing Tukwayo on five counts on Tuesday, said Ntabazalila.

He received life imprisonment for murder, 15 years for robbery with aggravating circumstances, five years for housebreaking, three years for illegal possession of a firearm and two years for illegal possession of ammunition.

All the sentences would run concurrently.

The NPA welcomed the sentence.

Read more on:    cape town  |  crime  |  farm attacks

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